The Pan American Confederation (CPE) is reporting a busy first quarter of 2018, and at the same time projecting an equally activity-filled year ahead. CPE President Vitaly Logvin traveled the region in the past few months, making official visits with Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, to spend time with the national federation presidents, as well as to meet with the authorities of country-specific Olympic Committee officials, along with leaders of national sports institutes.
Notably, in early February, the CPE organized an experimental epee and foil competition with new and different rules of engagement, as well as an innovative approach to timing and bouts. The idea is to explore ways of improving fencing’s interest and appeal to the public throughout the world. Two YouTube videos were made of these experiments, which may be accessed here for epee and here for foil.
The CPE has robust plans for the year, in cooperation with the national federations throughout the Americas. Some of these events have already occurred, while others have already been completed: The Pan American Junior and Cadet Championships (Costa Rica); the Third Seminar on Arbitration and course for trainers titled ‘From School to Olympic Games’ in Ecuador; a new course for sabre coaches to be held in El Salvador between April and May; the South American Games between May and July, to be held in Cochabamba, Bolivia; and the Central American Games in July, being held in Barranquilla, Colombia.
Ecuador Leads with Teaching Events. Overseen by the FIE, Quito, Ecuador hosted a development program benefitting the entire continental region, titled the ‘Fourth Seminar on Arbitration’. Esteemed FIE referee Juan Carlos Rios Rivera (MEX) taught the seminar, which was attended by 21 referees (including some coaches). By participating in the event, attendees and their regions benefit from being able to essentially become educators, able to demonstrate improved techniques and a deeper knowledge of arbitration. This better understanding helps not only educate their country fencing officials, fencers and coaches, it also aids them in developing improved competitive results and a broader knowledge of the sport overall.
Participants in the course took weapon-specific exams with a focus on FIE arbitration and its examinations. The CPE and FIE are working together to develop their oversight and dissemination of ‘knowledge activities’ in various confederation countries, and both organizations expressed gratitude to the Ecuador Fencing Federation for helping get the program off the ground. The goal is to reach 20 programs by the end of 2018, and to benefit as many fencers in the Pan American region as possible.
The Ecuador event took place February 15-23, specifically focused on developing a knowledge of psychological processes, planning, teaching methods, tactics/execution, and a fundamental objective of improving coaches’ abilities for planning and designing viable fencing strategies, goals and objectives.
The ‘From School to Olympic Games’ town hall event was held in Quito on February 22, introducing fencing to kids from the area. Two fencing events took place in two schools, one primary and the other secondary, reaching a variety of spectators—350 students in all—and with as many as 200 children aged four to 16. Ecuadorian national fencing team members and other high-performance athletes helped with the program, using innovative teaching equipment designed and distributed by Absolute Fencing Gear.
The event was so successful that it captured the attention of multiple other schools and clubs in Quito, and the Ecuadorian Fencing Federation has now requested more events to take place. In addition, the program educates regional physical education teachers with fencing basics information, and gives technical advice to schools about hosting fencing programs.